|Lyndon B. Johnson signing Medicare Act while Pres. Truman looks on|
It was a generation ago that Harry Truman said, and I quote him: "Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the time has now arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and to help them get that protection." ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
In 1945, Harry Truman sent his own message to Congress asking for legislation to establish a national health insurance plan in the United States, but it would not be for another two decades before any reform would be implemented. Instead a debate ensued, with those opposed to the plan warning of the dangers of “socialized medicine,” which was further aggravated in the 1950’s by a fear of Communism and socialist sounding programs. It wasn’t until after 1964, when the Democrats took over Congress, bolstered by the increasing influence of labor unions and the civil rights movement, that social reforms were finally able to be implemented. On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation which created the Medicare and Medicaid programs which would provide comprehensive health care for people 65 and older as well as care for the poor, the blind and the disabled. And President Truman was the first to sign up.
This was also when Uranus and Pluto were closely conjunct in the sign of Virgo, the sign of health care. In fact, on the day of the signing of the 1965 legislation, there was a stellium, including Venus and the Moon that was tightly conjunct Uranus and Pluto, all in the sign of Virgo. Mercury, at the very tail end of Leo, was about to move into Virgo as well. The conjunction of Uranus and Pluto set the stage for the current great cycle of revolutionary activity in global society that spans over 130 years. The Moon represents the people.
It was shortly after this, in the late 60’s that health care costs began to rise, pointing to deficiencies in the existing American health care system. Many of these problems were exasperated by the way Insurance companies paid for services, which were often costly and inefficient. Even at that time it was observed by professional observers that major changes were needed to overhaul the American health care system. As one doctor put it in 1968 (NYTimes 4/28/1968), “It is just no use to build a better mousetrap when the problem is elephants.” But there would not be, despite efforts to the contrary, any sort of real health reform in the United States until 2010, when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act.
|President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act|
With all the punditry, all of the lobbying, all of the game playing that passes for governing in Washington, it’s been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing, such a complicated thing, to wonder if there are limits to what we as a people can achieve. ~ President Barack Obama
Obama signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010 during a cardinal cross between the Sun in Aries, opposing Saturn in Libra, square Pluto in Capricorn and the Moon in Cancer. When Saturn squares Pluto there is an atmosphere of clinging to outworn structures that were assumed to always be in place. And even if something is no longer working, and may in fact be a burden and decadent, as the health care system had become, there were those who wanted to continue to hold on to the way things were.
However, Saturn/Pluto periods are times in which a certain amount of house cleaning needs to take place, where either a renovation or even a total demolition is required. And it may seem like the forces for change come from some external, or even political power that forces you to change, forces you out of your rut, out of the decadent, crumbling structures that you are desperately clinging to, however, if changes were not implemented soon, we would be forced to due to circumstances. Hospitals were and are closing, an unconscionable amount of people were and remain shut out from adequate health care, the costs continue to rise, rendering people to desperate levels of debt and bankruptcy. To try and hold on to costly and burdensome structures that are failing, is a battle, under Saturn/Pluto, that is just too formidable, and very unlikely to be won.
Yet, as soon as the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in the Spring of 2010, small government conservatives were up in arms, with a series of lawsuits coming from 26 States claiming that parts of the law, if not the entire law was unconstitutional.
This all came to a head last week with a t-square between the Sun, Uranus and Pluto in Cancer, Aries and Capricorn. It is not until now, with the first open square between Uranus and Pluto, when the crisis in conflict reaches this point of no return, where changes and adjustments that have been resisted or refuted, can no longer be resisted. They must evolve. Squares represent crisis in conflicts, crisis in action. Conflict, in this case, through an old power structure, an old guard, represented by Pluto in Capricorn, digging in its heels, and wanting to hold on to the current power structures, even if they prove to be decadent, costly and no longer feasible, coming up against reactive Uranus in Aries.
|Chief Justice Roberts|
The decision on June 28th, under the auspices of Chief Justice Roberts, upheld the Act. Everyone expected Chief Justice Roberts to side with the dissenting conservatives, so it came as something of a shock (Uranus) when he argued to uphold the law. Justice Roberts with his Mars (action, courage, motivation) strong in its own sign of the warrior sign of Aries, was also being influenced by the Uranus/Pluto square, where Uranus was sitting exactly on his Mars, and Pluto was exactly square.
Although the Supreme Court is notoriously private during their deliberations... apparently this argument was exceptional in its level of contention and attempts at coercion behind those closed doors. When Pluto is square one’s Mars, as it was with Justice Roberts, one feels like they are coming up against a formidable and willful adversary. This is a time in which one is inclined to feel that they are dealing with underhanded, perhaps less than ethical, and manipulative individuals. It was leaked that Justice Kennedy in particular had persisted in trying to persuade Justice Roberts to the conservative position. However, with Uranus conjunct his Mars he was not easily dissuaded. With Uranus on Mars an atmosphere of bravado and rebellion can become even more so when subject to extreme pressure. Uranus is the planet not only of revolt, but of freedom. Freedom of action, freedom of choice. It was imperative for Justice Roberts to stick to his own decision, even if that meant having to go it alone.
The day after his decision Justice Roberts was asked whether he was going to Disney World. Chief Justice Roberts said he had a better option: he was about to leave for Malta, where he would teach a two-week class on the history of the Supreme Court. “Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress,” he replied. Wise man.
And so, on June 28, 2012, the health care act was upheld. It may not be what Truman originally envisioned for a universal health care plan, but it is certainly a step in the right direction towards the evolution of a healthy society. The rhetoric began immediately, as the Far Right struggled to hold on to their last crumbling vestiges, calling for ‘resistance’, to strike down the ‘invaders’, and lamenting that this is the end of America as they know it. Despite the jargon, many more people are going to be able to have access to health care. And that is a good thing.
“There just can be no satisfaction, nor any act of leadership, that gives greater satisfaction than this. And perhaps you alone, President Truman, perhaps you alone can fully know just how grateful I am for this day.” ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson